Thursday, February 12, 2015

Pew Data on Technology Use

Photo by Lyza.
It's a stereotype that older adults don't know how to use technology. While this may have been true decades ago, every year it becomes less true.

For example, my grandmother Dorene, born in 1906 thought that my IBM 256K computer was a television when she saw it in 1984.

However, my father, born in 1938, wrote his own code during the 1980s in order to customize his client lists for work.

Now in his late 70s, my father doesn't use social media, but he knows more about hardware and software than I do even though I have been using a personal computer nearly daily at home, at school and at work since 1981.

So how much do older adults use technology such as the internet, cell phones and tablets?

The Pew Research Center's Internet Project Survey of older adults' (65+) shows that older adults are increasing their use, but they still lag a bit behind other adults. The survey was conducted July through September of 2013.

Here are some key statistics from that report:

General Findings
  • 59% of seniors go online.
  • 47% have broadband internet at home. 
  • 77% have a cell phone.
Education and Income
  • 87% of seniors with college degrees go online.
  • 90% of seniors with income of $75,000 or more go online. 
  • 82% of seniors with income of $75,000 or more have broadband at home. 
  • 39% of seniors with income less than $30,000 go online.
  • 25% of seniors with income less than $30,000 have broadband at home. 
Type of Phones and Social Media Use
  • 77% of seniors have a cell phone, but they tend to be the more basic types.
  • 18% of seniors own a smart phone. 
  • 27% of seniors own an e-reader or a tablet or both. 
  • 27% of seniors use social networking sites (such as Facebook).
  • 6% of seniors use Twitter.
You can find a summary of the report here.  You can read the full report here


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